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HSBC Sevens World Series Teams 2009/10

The HSBC Sevens World Series is made up of 12 core international sides who are guaranteed a place at each of the eight events.  The teams range from sevens giants and eight time champions New Zealand to relative newcomers Kenya.

Argentina

Martin Rodriguez of Argentina evades two Fiji tacklers during the IRB World Sevens Series

Photo: Getty Images

Regular big hitters on the sevens circuit, Argentina have been a constant in the upper reaches of the competition, including a second place finish in 2003/04 and fourth place last season. The Pumas picked up their second individual cup victory in San Diego, USA last season and will provide a typically abrasive test for all comers.

Australia

Australia have named a young squad for the 2009-10 HSBC Sevens World Series, looking for youthful enthusiasm and burgeoning talent to improve their surprisingly poor sevens record. In stark contrast to their glittering history in the 15-a-side game, the Wallabies have only appeared in the World Series top six once since 2003 –finishing sixth in 2004-05.

Coach Michael O’Connor’s squad has an average age of 20 and only four players – captain Patrick McCutcheon, utility back Brian Sefanaia, Shaun Foley and Clinton Sills – have HSBC Sevens World Series experience.

England

Steady improvement has characterised England Sevens Rugby over the last few years and led by HSBC Sevens World Series all-time record points scorer Ben Gollings a first overall title could be on the way.

Coach Ben Ryan’s side also contains current HSBC World Sevens Player of the Year Ollie Phillips. They won in London and Wellington last season, to add to four wins at the historic and prestigious Hong Kong Sevens.

Further information is available on the England Sevens page on RFU.com.

Fiji

Sevens legend Waisale Serevi of Fiji parades the ball on his way to scoring a try in the IRB World Sevens Series

Photo: Getty Images

Crowd pleasers and a giant of world sevens, Fiji’s conveyor belt of fast, dynamic and creative rugby players has led them to a series of sevens titles.  The island nation has won a record nine Hong Kong Sevens titles and are one of only two teams to break New Zealand’s dominance of the HSBC Sevens World Series, taking the title in 2005/06.

Alongside their overall victory, Fiji have had three second place finishes in the last five seasons. With star player William Ryder back firing, they are expected to build upon last year’s victories in Hong Kong and Edinburgh.

France

France have failed to translate their 15-a-side pedigree on the HSBC Sevens World Series circuit and have made little impression on the upper echelons of the tournament. Head coach Pierre Moret has picked some experienced players to try and make an impression this season.

Kenya

A Kenyan player dives over for a try at the 2009 London Sevens

Photo: Getty Images

Kenya are a rapidly improving sevens outfit, concentrating their resources on the shorter form of the game. Their breakthrough season came in 2008-9, when they reached the semi-finals of the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens and made the final of the Adelaide Sevens, losing to African counterparts and eventual HSBC Sevens World Series winners South Africa.

The Kenyans finished sixth in the overall standings last season and flyer Collins Injera, HSBC Sevens World Series’ leading try scorer remains their main threat this term.

New Zealand

The All Blacks can virtually call the HSBC Sevens World Series their own after eight victories in ten years. After injuries and unavailability disrupted their campaign last season, head coach Gordon Tietjens has picked a battle-hardened outfit to win back ‘their’ title.

In 2008 HSBC World Sevens Player of the Year DJ Forbes, vice-captain Zar Lawrence, Tomasi Cama and Lote Raikabula Tietjens has a formidable around which to build.

Samoa

Ofioa'e Maiava of Samoa breaks through a tackle during the 2009 London Sevens

Photo: Getty Images

Continuing the Pacific Islands tradition of free-flowing sevens rugby, Samoa are an established force on the IRB Sevens circuit.  With back-to-back second place finishes in 2006/07 and 2007/08 and victories in the Wellington and Hong Kong Sevens, Samoa’s physical and free-running game can set tournaments alight.

The Samoans start this season’s series bang in form after retaining their Oceania Sevens Championship in November and defeating arch rivals Fiji to gold in the Pacific Mini Games in October.

Scotland

After Scotland’s 15-a-side team have enjoyed a moral-boosting autumn, sevens coach Stephen Gemmell hopes his well-prepared side can produce in the shorter form of the game too.

With a mix of permanently contracted sevens players and members of Scottish Rugby’s National Academy, Gemmell is hoping for some overdue sevens success.

South Africa

Action from South Africa against France in the 2009 London Sevens

Photo: Getty Images

The reigning HSBC Sevens World Series holders, South Africa dominated last season, reaching five finals and taking titles in Dubai, South Africa and Australia.  Paul Treu’s full time Springbok side never looked back after winning the opening two rounds and showed the consistency in selection necessary for success.

With three pre-season victories under their belts and the core of last season’s squad again available, the Springboks will not let their title go without a fight.

United States

The Eagles have ousted neighbours Canada to take a full time slot on the circuit after an 11th place finish and three shield victories last season.  Coach Al Caravelli has shown a commitment to unearthing new talent after naming a squad with eight changes from this time last year as he looks to take the side to the next level.

Wales

Current IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens champions, Wales showed little sustained HSBC Sevens World Series form before their thrilling victory in Dubai. In defeating New Zealand, Samoa and Argentina to take the title, Paul John’s Wales showed they can mix it with the best.

A new-look squad starts the campaign on the pitch where they won the world cup, but in a re-shaped squad, only captain Chris Davies, Craig Hill, Jevon Groves and Ifan Evans have previous international sevens experience. The Welsh will be out to prove that their win was not a flash in the pan.